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Visual Arts and Films in June

Block Museum, Dittmar Gallery and University Library exhibitions open to public

  • Block show features 600 plates depicting death row inmates’ last meal requests
  • MFA Thesis show highlights final work of graduating art theory and practice students    
  • Dittmar Gallery to host Jave Yoshimoto’s “The Melting World” exhibit
  • University Library showcases Renaissance-era books, art and science, and archival items 

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The focus of artist Julie Green’s compelling installation, “The Last Supper: 600 Plates Illustrating Final Meals of U.S. Death Row Inmates,” which runs through Aug. 9 at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus, has captured the interest of print, broadcast and social media, as well as the general public.

The exhibition features 600 hand-painted plates depicting death row inmates’ last meal requests. Green, an art professor at Oregon State University, has been painting plates for 15 years and is committed to creating 50 each year until capital punishment is abolished in the United States.

The Block Museum’s Katz Gallery’s “Compression: Recent Gifts to the Block from Bill and Sheila Lambert,” which also runs through Aug. 9, features a group of works that compress time, space, memory and knowledge. Using photography, printmaking, publishing, computer-generated art, collage and drawing, these works represent each of the key areas of the Block’s extensive holdings of art on paper, a cornerstone of the collection.

The Block also is co-hosting the MFA Thesis Exhibition, “Age of Consent,” through June 21 in the Alsdorf Gallery. This annual show of graduate works marks the end of the course of study leading to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree for the department of art theory and practice at Northwestern.

Dittmar Gallery’s current exhibition, “Gorge,” which closes on June 11, includes the work of five soon-to-graduate Northwestern seniors. On June 18, the Dittmar will welcome guest artist Jave Yoshimoto and host an opening reception for his latest exhibition, “The Melting World,” which runs through Aug. 9.

University Library and Deering Library is presenting three current exhibitions. “Critical Mass: Using Archival Sources and Data to Track Change at Northwestern” runs through June 21 in University Library’s New Book Alcove. “Art & Science: Traversing the Creative Spectrum,” runs through Sept. 4 at University Library (Main Library). And “The History of Deering Library,” will be on view in the lobby of Deering Library through Sept. 6.

All of the following Northwestern events will take place on the Evanston campus. All are free, unless otherwise noted.

MARY AND LEIGH BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART

Northwestern’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive on the University’s Evanston campus. Admission to Block Museum exhibitions is always free. Parking in the garage and lot directly south of the museum is free all day on weekends and after 4 p.m. on weekdays. For more information on Block exhibitions, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu or call 847-491-4000.

BLOCK MUSEUM MAY 2015 EXHIBITIONS

“The Last Supper: 600 Plates Illustrating Final Meals of U.S. Death Row Inmates” by Julie Green through Aug. 9, Main Gallery. An installation by artist Julie Green features 600 white ceramic plates decorated with cobalt blue mineral paint to depict the last meal requests of U.S. death row inmates. Every plate in “The Last Supper” is accompanied by a description of the meal request, date and state -- but no more. Without naming the inmate or crime, the meals highlight the human dimension of capital punishment. The plates function as anonymous portraits that when grouped together suggest a memorial to lost life on a mass scale. Green, a professor of art at Oregon State University, has been painting plates for 15 years and is committed to creating 50 each year until capital punishment is abolished. Green’s Block Museum exhibition has particular salience at Northwestern, as the Northwestern University School of Law was influential in the eradication of the death penalty in Illinois. The Block is partnering with the School of Law, among others, to address issues raised by the exhibition. Funding for the project has been generously provided by Chicago artist Angela Lustig and Northwestern alumnus Dale E. Taylor. Taylor is the president and CEO of AbelsonTaylor.

In addition, Block Cinema has scheduled two film programs in June 2015, including one that complements themes in “The Last Supper” exhibition. General admission is $6; admission is $4 with a Northwestern WildCARD, Block Museum membership, student ID, and for seniors. A quarterly pass is $20. For more information related to Block Cinema series and complete film descriptions, visit:
http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/view/cinema/the-last-supper.html.

“Compression: Recent Gifts to the Block from Bill and Sheila Lambert” through Aug. 9, Katz Gallery. Drawn from recent gifts to the Block Museum from Bill and Sheila Lambert, “Compression” traces the contemporary use of technologies to reduce the work of art to its essential forms and functions, including photography, printmaking, publishing, computer-generated art, collage and drawing. These works represent each of the key areas of the Block’s extensive holdings of art on paper, a cornerstone of the collection.

MFA Thesis Exhibition, “Age of Consent” through June 21, Alsdorf Gallery. This exhibition presents the work of Angela Lopez, Laura McGinn, Emily Cruz Nowell, William Schweigert and Rambod Vala and is the culmination of the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences department of art theory and practice. Support for the MFA Thesis Exhibition is provided by The Myers Foundations, The Cary Lane Art Supply Fund courtesy of Dr. Madeleine Wing Adler, Norton S. Walbridge Fund, the Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund, and The Alsdorf Endowment.

Find more information on Block’s spring and summer exhibitions here.

BLOCK CINEMA JUNE 2015 SCREENINGS

Block Cinema, “The Last Supper: Race, Class and Justice on Screen” series, “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” 7 p.m. Thursday, June 4, Block Museum (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928, France, 35mm, 82 minutes). On trial for heresy, Joan of Arc’s captors use interrogation, torture and death threats to force her to sign a confession. Dreyer’s 1928 restaging of the trial of Joan of Arc is famous for its exquisite cinematography, specifically its use of close-ups. It is a testament to the beauty and power of the human face. “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” like other films in this series, portrays the suffering and helplessness of victims abused by power. The film itself suffered from cuts by the government and the Archbishop of France. Dreyer’s original version was only available in a truncated form until the 1980s when a complete print was discovered. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive. The screening will feature live musical accompaniment by Evanston-based silent film photoplay pianist David Drazin. Get the details here. General admission is $6, or $4 with a Northwestern WildCARD, Block Museum membership or student ID. A quarterly pass is $20.

Block Cinema, Special Programs series, Rare Baseball Films, 7 p.m. Friday, June 5, Block Museum. Rare Baseball Films organized by Dave Filipi, the Wexner Center for the Arts Director of Film/Video, returns for its 11th year. Before televisions became domestic fixtures, these newsreels allowed fans to watch players from around the country in action -- and now they let viewers relive some of the best moments in the history of the game. Come out and see such greats as Babe Ruth; Willie Mays; Jackie, Brooks and Frank Robinson; and baseball played by Little Leaguers, on donkeys, in canoes and more! Special thanks to the UCLA Film & Television Archive for its assistance with this program. Thanks also to Paul Gordon, Library and Archives Canada; the Dawson City Museum and Historical Society Collection; and Bill Morrison. The program is approximately 120 minutes and will be introduced by Dave Filipi, director of film/video at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University. Read more. General admission is $6, or $4 with a Northwestern WildCARD, Block Museum membership or student ID. A quarterly pass is $20.

To view Block Cinema’s complete spring screening schedule online, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/view/cinema/.

MAY 2015 BLOCK MUSEUM EXHIBITION TOURS

• Free guided docent-led tours of the Block Museum’s exhibitions are held every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. during the run of the exhibition. No reservation is necessary.

• Free tours for groups of five or more can be pre-arranged. Requests should be made at least four weeks in advance. For more information, email blockeducation@northwestern.edu or visit the Block website.

• Gallery tours for higher education groups and kindergarten through high school classes also are available. Learn how to reserve one.

DEPARTMENT OF ART THEORY AND PRACTICE

Northwestern University’s department of art theory and practice has both an undergraduate program and a graduate program. The department sponsors student exhibitions in the Dittmar Memorial Gallery in Norris University Center, the student activities hub, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art and other campus venues, including the department’s new home at 640 Lincoln St. The department’s Visiting Artists Program brings contemporary artists from around the world to campus to speak, visit classes and have one-on-one critiques with advanced students. For information on upcoming events, visit http://www.art.northwestern.edu/.

MFA Thesis Exhibition, “Age of Consent” through June 21, Alsdorf Gallery. The artists featured in “Age of Consent” take full responsibility for their actions and decisions. The exhibition presents the work of Angela Lopez, Laura McGinn, Emily Cruz Nowell, William Schweigert and Rambod Vala in the culmination of their MFA studies in Northwestern’s department of art theory and practice. The exhibition is co-organized by Northwestern’s department of art theory and practice and the Block Museum. Support for the MFA Thesis Exhibition is provided by The Myers Foundations, The Cary Lane Art Supply Fund courtesy of Dr. Madeleine Wing Adler, Norton S. Walbridge Fund, the Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund and The Alsdorf Endowment.

DITTMAR MEMORIAL GALLERY

The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, first floor, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Northwestern University, Evanston campus. The Dittmar Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Admission is free. The gallery focuses on ethnic cultural art, art by emerging artists, art by or about women, artwork by Northwestern art students and traveling art shows. For more information, contact the Dittmar Gallery at 847-491-2348 or Norris University Center at 847-491-2300, email dittmargallery@northwestern.edu or visit www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.

DITTMAR GALLERY MAY 2015 EXHIBITIONS

Department of Art Theory and Practice Senior Show, “Gorge,” through June 11, Dittmar Gallery. Our culture depends upon and even celebrates dichotomous thinking. What happens to people and ideas that lie within the valley of this gorge? What happens when we create a bridge? “Gorge” features the artwork of five graduating seniors from Northwestern University’s department of art theory and practice: Dulcinée Deguere, Hope Hellmann, Tanner Maxwell, Ben Podell and Lucero Segundo.

“The Melting World” by Jave Yoshimoto, June 18 through Aug. 9, Dittmar Gallery. Yoshimoto's work takes on the ephemerality of news and information and how the emotions we bring to each tragedy in the news cycle are swept away by the wave of information that floods the media. He addresses this social amnesia with the work acting as a social memory for tragic events so quickly forgotten in our information age. The exhibition and an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 25, are free and open to the public.

UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

Northwestern’s University Library is located at 1970 Campus Drive. Deering Library is located at 1935 Sheridan Road. The following exhibitions are free and open to the public. 

“Midwest Renaissance: Printed Books at Northwestern from Shakespeare’s Time” through June 21 on the third floor of Deering Library. Tens of thousands of Renaissance-era books can be found in Midwestern libraries, arriving from half a world away via circuitous paths and the untraceable efforts of collectors and scholars. This exhibit displays more than two-dozen such books held by the University’s Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections. It includes volumes of poetry and prose by eminent Renaissance writers, “used books” bearing traces of their owners, as well as educational treatises, Continental literature in translation and travel guides. These books are part of a 2014 effort begun at Northwestern entitled "Renaissance Books, Midwestern Libraries" (RBML) to boost awareness of books printed between 1473 and 1800 in the English language (or in England and its territories) that now reside much closer than libraries in Europe.

“Art & Science: Traversing the Creative Spectrum” through Sept. 4, University Library (Main Library). Why do we tend to think of art and science as opposites? They may seem at odds, but both are born from creativity, both employ process and both push boundaries. In truth, they are complementary fields, not contrary, and they rely on one another. Whether it is astronomers pushing the limits of photography, or illustrators experimenting with printmaking technology, art and science often converge in a place where they become inextricable. This University Library exhibit examines the historical interconnectedness of art and science, two disciplines forever linked on the same spectrum of creativity. Julio Ottino, dean of Northwestern’s Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will give a talk about the intersection of art and science at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 4 in University Library in conjunction with the exhibit. The event is free and open to the public.

“The History of Deering Library” through Sept. 6 in the lobby of Deering Library. From its dramatic barrel vaults to its reading room often equated to Hogwarts, Deering Library has been a campus icon for more than 80 years. This exhibit is a remount of a display last seen in 2012. It re-creates the history of the Collegiate Gothic building, including the initial Georgian designs proposed by architect James Gamble Rogers. The exhibit also commemorates the 45th anniversary of the dramatic 1970 student strike on campus in protest of the Vietnam War and Kent State shootings -- an era when Deering was often a central meeting point for protesters during the weeklong campus shutdown.

“Critical Mass: Using Archival Sources and Data to Track Change at Northwestern,” through June 21 in University’s Library’s New Book Alcove (near Periodicals). Inspired by the University’s 2014-15 One Book, One Northwestern selection of preeminent social psychologist Claude M. Steele’s “Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We can Do,” this Library installation illustrates the University Archives’ widely varied sources of information -- from yearbooks to course catalogs to faculty minutes -- that can help researchers understand changing student demographics throughout Northwestern history. Curators pay particular attention to how geospatial analysis tools, available through the Library, can plot that information to arrive at meaningful conclusions about the history of race on campus. For more information on Northwestern’s One Book community reading program, visit www.northwestern.edu/onebook/about/about-the-book.html and http://libguides.northwestern.edu/OBON/2014-2015.

ARTS CIRCLE DRIVE

Northwestern’s Arts Circle Drive has reopened for vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The road, drive-up handicap access to arts venues, the pedestrian path at the lakefront and all sidewalks are now open for public use. New improvements to the South Beach Garage have also eliminated the need to use the stairways since both levels of the two-story parking structure are now accessible to persons with disabilities for easy access to the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art. Free parking is available after 4 p.m. in the two-level lakeside lot directly south of the museum. Additional parking is also available in the new Segal Visitors Center at 1841 Sheridan Road. Directions and additional parking information available here.

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